, Volume 195, Issue 4, pp 554–562 | Cite as

Cold-hardening results in increased activity of enzymes involved in carbon metabolism in leaves of winter rye (Secale cereale L.)

  • Vaughan M. Hurry
  • Olav Keerberg
  • Tiit Pärnik
  • Per Gardeström
  • Gunnar Öquist


Light- and CO2-saturated photosynthesis of nonhardened rye (Secale cereale L. cv. Musketeer) was reduced from 18.10 to 7.17 μmol O2·m−2·s−1 when leaves were transferred from 20 to 5°C for 30 min. Following cold-hardening at 5°C for ten weeks, photosynthesis recovered to 15.05 μmol O2·m−2·s−1,comparable to the nonhardened rate at 20°C. Recovery of photosynthesis was associated with increases in the total activity and activation of enzymes of the photosynthetic carbon-reduction cycle and of sucrose synthesis. The total hexose-phosphate pool increase by 30% and 120% for nonhardened and cold-hardened leaves respectively when measured at 5°C. The large increase in esterified phosphate in coldhardened leaves occurred without a limitation in inorganic phosphate supply. In contrast, the much smaller increase in esterified phosphate in nonhardened leaves was associated with an inhibition of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and sucrose-phosphate synthase activation. It is suggested that the large increases in hexose phosphates in cold-hardened leaves compensates for the higher substrate threshold concentrations needed for enzyme activation at low temperatures. High substrate concentrations could also compensate for the kinetic limitations imposed by product inhibition from the accumulation of sucrose at 5°C. Nonhardened leaves appear to be unable to compensate in this fashion due to an inadequate supply of inorganic phosphate.

Key words

Frost hardening Low temperature Photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase Secale Sucrose-phosphate synthase 



dihydroxyacetone phosphate



Fru 1,6BP









photosynthetic photon flux density


cold-hardened rye grown at 5°C


nonhardened rye grown at 24°C


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase




sucrose-phosphate synthase


uridine 5′-diphosphoglucose


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vaughan M. Hurry
    • 1
  • Olav Keerberg
    • 2
  • Tiit Pärnik
    • 2
  • Per Gardeström
    • 1
  • Gunnar Öquist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PhysiologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Institute of Experimental Biology, Estonian Academy of SciencesHarkuEstonia

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